Andres Cortes sat next to O’Shaquie Foster during a press conference Wednesday at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden.

Las Vegas’ Cortes hopes they can sit on opposite sides of the stage the next time they’re in the same room if Foster and Cortes can win their respective fights Friday night in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Cortes believes another impressive performance in his 10-round, 130-pound fight with Bryan Chevalier leads to a shot at the WBC super featherweight title Foster will defend against Abraham Nova in the 12-round main event.

Cortes (20-0, 11 KOs) told Top Rank’s Mark Shunock, who moderated the press conference, that he intends to make “another statement” and take “just another step closer to that world title” by beating Chevalier (20-1-1, 16 KOs) in the co-feature of ESPN’s three-bout broadcast (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).

“You know, I’m here to take care of Bryan first,” Cortes said, “and maybe one day we can make that fight possible [with Foster].”

The 26-year-old Cortes – who, like Foster, is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. – produced his most noteworthy win as a pro in his last fight. He stopped Sacramento’s Xavier Martinez (18-2, 12 KOs) after the seventh round of a scheduled 10-rounder July 28 at Palms Casino Resort’s Pearl Theater in Las Vegas.

Cortes is not ranked in the top 15 by the WBC, but he is listed 15th among the WBO’s eligible contenders for a title shot. If he gets past Puerto Rico’s Chevalier, who is rated fourth by the WBO, Cortes could appear in the WBC’s top 15, in addition to moving up in the WBO’s ratings.

Chevalier obviously has championship plans of his own. He has won 12 fights in a row since fellow Puerto Rican Alcides Santiago (6-3, 5 KOs) knocked out Chevalier in the second round of their June 2017 bout in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

“We have to get past Andres Cortes first,” Chevalier said, “but the goal is to fight for a world title, whether it’s against Emanuel Navarrete, who’s the WBO champion, or against Foster, or against Nova, if he wins. We’re ready to fight against anyone. I’ve never turned away from a fight. So, God willing, we walk away with a victory and then we’ll see what the promoter decides.”

Mexico’s Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) still holds the WBO junior lightweight title, but he is expected to box Ukraine’s Denys Berinchyk (18-0, 9 KOs) next for the vacant WBO lightweight championship.

DraftKings lists Cortes as a 6-1 favorite over Chevalier. The 29-year-old Chevalier nevertheless predicted another memorable battle between a Mexican and a Puerto Rican.

“Styles make fights,” Chevalier said. “I’m prepared to give the best of me. And my style is gonna mesh with his, as his style will mesh with mine. And, without a doubt, we’re gonna give a great war between Mexico and Puerto Rico.”

Before Cortes encounters Chevalier, unbeaten, Brooklyn-based featherweight prospect Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (10-0, 6 KOs) will face Filipino southpaw Bernard Torres (18-1, 8 KOs) in the 10-round opener of ESPN’s tripleheader. Foster (21-2, 12 KOs), of Orange, Texas, is a 9-1 favorite, according to DraftKings, to beat Abraham Nova (23-1, 16 KOs), of Albany, New York, in the 12-round main event.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.